Flames ready to trump Lightning on Association Day

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The Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames will be keen to move out of the blocks quickly this Saturday night against the Adelaide Thunder at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre, after a WNBL season plagued by slow starts.

Following on from the Flames heartbreaking four point loss to the Canberra Capitals on Friday night – a game in which the Flames found themselves down by seven points after just six minutes – the girls from Sydney can certainly take some positives out of their continued ability to fight back from a deficit, but they need to start games stronger.

“Our poor start cost us once again,” said a disappointed Flames Head Coach, Karen Dalton.

“We have had poor starts in the last few games and this is an area of our game that needs to be addressed.”

Another area that the Flames will hope to improve on is rebounding. Sydney Uni were out-rebounded 44-38 by Canberra, and their job won’t get any easier on Saturday night when they come up against one-time Flames player and current Opal Suzie Batkovic. 

Batkovic has plenty of strengths, including her ability on the boards, and the Flames ability to shut down last years league MVP may be pivotal to the deciding the outcome of the game.

Apart from Batkovic, the Flames will have the hands full with fellow London 2012 Opals Jenni Screen and Laura Hodges. Hodges is currently carrying an injury and may be ruled out of Saturday’s game.

In recent weeks the Flames have shown some very promising cohesion offensively, and this is expected to only continue to get better with another full week of training for Dalton’s young squad.

Flames forwards Ellie Manou and April Sykes have been excellent for the Flames this season, and Sykes in particular has shown that she has plenty of shooting ability, top scoring for the Flames last week with 15 points.  

Another positive for Sydney Uni was last week’s return from injury from captain Alicia Poto. Poto had 12 points, three rebounds and three assists in a lively return to action.  

Poto and Katie-Rae Ebzery’s matchup against opposition guards Angela Marino and Amy Lewis will be fascinating, with all four girls displaying excellent form in season 2012/13.

Come out and support the Flames on ‘Association Day’ and watch the girl’s battle it out against competition heavyweights the Adelaide Lightning on Saturday night at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre (SUSAC).

Wear your local Club or Association singlet to access half price adult tickets and $5 for any player 15 years and under. Tickets are on sale from 6pm on the night and tipoff is at 7pm.

You can also support the Flames on Twitter @SydUniFlames or Facebook Sydney Uni Flames WNBL.